I hear all too often that coaches get very stuck on how to communicate to others about what they do. It can feel like you need to get into the what and how of your program, and ultimately that isn’t what people typically need to hear. Many coaches talk about features of a program and not the benefits to the client.

The challenge isn’t in the impact we make but in how we communicate this impact to others. The core of our message often gets lost in the attempt to detail the workings of our services, leading to missed connections and opportunities.

There are so many places you need to be able to clearly talk about what you do:

  • Networking
  • 1:1’s with other professionals
  • Talking to leads and prospects
  • Marketing (your SM, emails, website, etc.)
  • Talking to ANYONE! Yes – even your friends and family

The better you can talk about what you do, the more easily they will be able to recognize when they, or someone they are talking to, could use your help.

Engagement Questions

When discussing your role, consider:

  • Where have you found yourself stumbling?
  • What emotions arise as you’re about to describe what you do?
  • Where do you feel it in your body when that happens?
  • How do you wish to feel when talking about your work?

Reflecting on these points can help you navigate the conversation more effectively.

Importance of Storytelling

Many coaches get too into the details/facts about what they do, etc. It’s WAY more fun to think about the experience or “story” of someone you’ve worked with. (if you haven’t worked with a lot of clients – what are the stories you have from your OWN life that you can use or lean into?)

An example could be: “I help clients with things like ____ [insert things they’ve helped clients with].”

Think about 2 or 3 clients you have worked with (the ones you have loved working with the most) – write down their names. Next I want you to write down the following things for each of these clients:

  • What were their biggest pain points or problems when they came to you?
  • What are 2-3 wins that each of them had?
  • Write these down.
  • These are your “stories” that you share when you tell people what you do.

To help you with some examples of this I am going to share some of the ideas that the coaches I work with in the Elite Coaching Program came up with. This is a long list, but by no means all-inclusive. Grab a pen and paper so you can write some of these down, as I’m sure it is going to help spark some inspiration for you!

Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Spending with values
  • Overspending
  • Chaos around money
  • Feeling unclear about where their money is going/where they are spending
  • Paying off debt
  • Being self aware about their spending habits
  • Facing medical debt that was a huge fear and avoidance
  • Building confidence to tackle financial stressors
    Overspending to feel better
  • Letting go of old stories “That’s just the way I am” and believing more is possible – that they can have a new story
  • How to stretch their budget
  • Want to know where their money is really going
  • Clients realize how expensive their debt really is and it’s really holding them back
  • Realize that they avoid talking about money with their partner- improving conversation around money
  • Looking at their emergency fund in a new way
  • Finding ways to save even more for the future
  • Clients have trouble “balancing it all” – So many moving pieces in their life and they struggle to balance all that is happening in life and also feeling they are preparing for the future
  • They want to enjoy life now and also feel like they can prepare for the future
  • Go from being underpaid working for someone else and transition to independent therapy practice – quadrupled income
  • I only work with clients that want a BIG change. I don’t do the bullshit
  • Anxiety with credit card debt – make massive progress getting them paid off

Choose One and Tell the Story

Identify a transformative client story to share. Talk about their initial challenges, the process of working together, and the outcomes achieved. This narrative powerfully illustrates the impact of your coaching.

For example, you might talk about helping a client align their spending with their values or navigate the complexities of paying off significant debt.

I helped a recently divorced mother of three stop feeling trapped by her 9-to-5. She wasn’t happy with what she was doing and how hard her schedule was to manage with three young children. Through coaching I was able to help her transition into full-time entrepreneurship and now her business is bringing in over $250k/year.

She didn’t know where to start, what steps to take first, becoming a business owner felt very overwhelming. She didn’t trust herself to give up the security of her paycheck. I helped her figure out what steps to take first, when she could pull the trigger, the timing of all of that – how to make sure she wasn’t putting herself at risk.

If you want this to feel a bit more general you could take this same story but turn it into something like this:

One thing I see is that my clients feel really uncertain about the future after they have gone through a divorce. They are often really focused on creating stability, but sometimes at the cost of their happiness or feeling like they have a lack of options. I help them to see what possibilities exist for them, how to plan for the future and how to make a transition (if that is something they want in life) maybe into a new career they love, or planning for that income they need in the future to create the stability and security they desire.

Phrases to Get You Started

Initiating this conversation can be made simpler with phrases like:

  • “I see that it’s really common for my clients to…”
  • “One thing that’s really normal…”
  • “One big challenge we see our clients are facing…”
  • “One thing I help many clients overcome…”
  • “I recently met with a client who….”

These phrases make your message more relatable and can help listeners see themselves in the stories you share.

Common Client Experiences

Our clients often face challenges like:

  • Overdrafting bank account
    Not making any progress building savings
  • Pay down CC and rack up balance again soon
  • Earning more money than ever but nothing extra to show for it
  • Disconnect between knowing what to do and actually doing it
  • Constantly reacting to things in their financial life, scrambling – figure out this thing, and then the next thing, and then the next thing
    Feel like they’re just winging it

Highlighting these experiences emphasizes the relevance of financial coaching.

How to Connect with Them

Instead of overwhelming your audience with too much information at once, focus on connecting through empathy and understanding. Demonstrate that you understand their financial struggles and have the expertise to guide them towards a solution.

  • “Have you ever felt that way too?”
  • “Have you ever experienced that?”
  • “Have your clients ever experienced that?”
  • “Do you see these same things with the clients you work with?”

Asking Good Questions

Instead of word vomit/lecturing, engage in conversation. Get out of the pressure of feeling like you have to prove yourself, your background, your education…It is not about you, it is about them. By being curious about them and asking them really good questions, it shows you understand money and get what they’re going through. You being curious about them and guiding the conversation establishes you as the leader and expert.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Tell me what’s happening with your financial life.
  • What would you say one of the biggest challenges is right now?
  • What is something you’d love to do with your money but haven’t been able to yet?
  • What do you think is holding you back from pursuing the goals you have?
  • Why did you say ____?
  • You said that ______ – what did you mean by that? Can you tell me more?

Learning to be skillful at talking about what you do is not about what you know and what you do. It’s a combination of being able to tell good stories and being curious about the person you are talking to.

Building the skill of curiosity takes practice. This is not intuitive for most people and a skill that must be practiced. Awareness is the first step!

Homework

Reflect on three clients who’ve undergone significant financial transformations through your coaching. Contemplate their initial problems, the ways you facilitated their journey, and the impact of these changes on their lives. This exercise is crucial for understanding the depth of change you catalyze in people’s lives.

In mastering the art of communicating what we do, it’s essential to remember that it’s less about the specifics of our knowledge and more about the stories we share and our genuine curiosity about those we aim to help. Developing this skill requires practice and a conscious shift in how we approach these conversations.